Requiem and Farewell

Tonight was the final rehearsal for tomorrow night’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem, nicknamed the Defiant Requiem. It is truly going to be a spectacular program. This whole week, the famous conductor, Murry Sidlin, has been leading us in preparation for a touching presentation.

It is called the Defiant Requiem because the Jews at Terezin sang the piece to their captors. They sang what they could not say to them. The concert will feature video interviews of survivors, narration, and of course the music itself. The 170-voice chorus and 75-piece orchestra will make for a thunderous sound. I have enjoyed this week of rehearsals. It’s not every day that I get to play violin with such a large group.

Tomorrow will not only be a magnificent performance, but a momentous one for me. It will be my last. Not that I will never play with the Signature Symphony again. I might. It’s just that with my plans to be at graduate school starting in August, I won’t be here to play in the concerts. So, for me, it is a kind of farewell. Hardly anyone knows it. But as the lights diminish and we quietly leave the stage tomorrow evening, I am aware that I may be leaving for the last time. There will be no applause. The music and story demand it.

As for me, I really am leaving. Quietly. No big deal. No disruption. Just smoothly transitioning from one stage of life to another. It’s a bittersweet goodbye. But I’m moving on. I will fondly remember being a part of the Signature Symphony, and all the music it made me love. And I will consider it an honor to have been a part of such a meaningful and magnificent production such as the Defiant Requiem.

Prayer for a Friend

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9: 9-10

I’m praying for a friend tonight.

I want to be competent to counsel.

And I know I can’t counsel without being asked.

So, I pray to the ultimate Counselor. He’ll do what needs to be done.

Lord, show her that Your Word is what she needs.

Jesus Lives, and So Shall I

Jesus lives, and so shall I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever:
He, who deigned for me to die,
Lives, the bands of death to sever.
He shall raise me with the just;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives and reigns supreme;
And, his kingdom still remaining
I shall also be with Him,
Ever living, ever reigning.
God has promised; be it must:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and God extends
Grace to each returning sinner;
Rebels He receives as friends,
And exalts to highest honor.
God is True as He is Just;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and by His grace,
Victory o’er my passions giving,
I will cleanse my heart and ways,
Ever to His glory living.
The weak He raises from the dust;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and I am sure
Naught shall e’er from Jesus sever,
Satan’s wiles, and Satan’s power,
Pain or pleasure– ye shall never!
Christian armor cannot rust;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and death is now
But my entrance into glory
Courage! then, my soul, for thou
Hast a crown of life before thee;
Thou shalt find thy hopes were just–
Jesus is the Christian’s Trust.

– Christian F. Gellert (1715-1769)

The tune (sung in German)

Christ and the cross

Disclaimer: I do not endorse everything on all of the following websites. The following direct links are merely articles/quotes/songs that I found encouraging and thought might be to readers as well.

What Made the Cross so Heavy?

Was 3 Hours Of Suffering Enough?

The Answer to My Doubts

May Thy Cross…

How Awesome is That Day to Me

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Ah, Lord Jesus

Herzliebster Jesu (German lyrics)

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

God's love: incarnation, initiation, propitiation

Notes from last Sunday’s sermon:

Have you merely gone from being a full-time pagan to a part-time dabbler in sin?

Your sin is so great that it took nothing less than the death of God’s Son to pay for it.

If you think that God is a loving grandfather and doesn’t really punish sin, here are some passages for you to read:
Revelation 1:13-17 . Hebrews 12:18-24 . Hebrews 12:25-29 . Isaiah 6:3-7 . Ezekiel 1:26-2:1 . Genesis 15:9-17

1) God manifested His love in Christ’s incarnation1 John 4:9
God’s love is not abstract. It is personal–displayed in a person.

The cross displays the power to bring dead people to life. Each Christian is evidence of this.

2) God manifested His love by initiation. – 1 John 4:10a
We were not the initiators.

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found of thee.

Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea.
‘Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
as thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee!
For thou wert long beforehand with my soul;
always thou lovedst me.

– anonymous

3) God manifested His love in substitutionary propitiation. – 1 John 4:10b
substitutionary propitiation = satisfactory payment
The offended paid the full penalty for the criminal.

an example of pursuing excellence

The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra is an amazing project conducted among the poor of Venezuela. These young people have been offered a music education, and they have pursued excellence (as is evident in their recordings). Enjoy the following videos and look them up on YouTube* if you’re interested in seeing/hearing more.


*Browse YouTube with caution. While there is much of educational value on that site, there is also much that should be avoided.

three pieces

My life is full of music.

Just in the last couple of days, I’ve grown fond of three performances—each in a different style. I want to share them with you.

Complete in Thee is a song I have on a CD, but here is a singer who sings it as a one-man quintet. Listen to the words, and you may find them to be precious.

Weightless is a song that you can download for free. “Forgiveness is weightless” and “well hidden bundle on my back”(allusion to Pilgrim’s Progress?) are the phrases that stick out the most to me.

Mahler’s 1st Symphony (the “Titan”) is much on my mind as the Signature Symphony is performing it on Saturday. Here is the fourth movement conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.